East Bay Municipal Utility District Wins 2020 Best in Blue Award

  • by ACWA Staff
  • Dec 2, 2020
  • News Releases

SACRAMENTO The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented its Huell Howser Best in Blue Award to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) for its highly successful Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) Outreach Campaign.

EBMUD conducted an unprecedented public outreach campaign to educate its customers about the impacts of pre-emptive power shutoffs on its water and wastewater systems. The district urged customers to conserve water supplies for critical needs such as firefighting. Their innovative campaign utilized a range of tools over multiple channels including press announcements and newsletters, an interactive map and micro-targeted email communications. The comprehensive campaign messaging proved successful and, during the district’s 2019 PSPS events, EBMUD water use in the affected pressure zones dropped between 32 to 40 percent.

The award was presented during the 2020 ACWA Virtual Fall Conference & Exhibition on Dec. 2, where water professionals gathered virtually for programs and panel discussions on California’s  top water issues. EBMUD was among six finalists for the annual award that honors exceptional communications and outreach programs developed and run by California water agencies.

“It’s important that water agencies continue to educate their customers on significant issues that affect their water supply,” said ACWA President Steven LaMar. “This campaign is especially important considering the devastating wildfire seasons that California continues to face. The success of EBMUD’s campaign is a testament to how targeted outreach and innovative communication can successfully engage customers.”

Other finalists for this year’s award were:

  • Coachella Valley Water District for its “Your Water Is Our Promise” outreach campaign that utilized data and research to understand the effectiveness of its public outreach methods.
  • Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District for its “PFAS” outreach campaign that educated customers and stakeholders on PFAS and the district’s water quality.
  • Irvine Ranch Water District for its informative “Recycled Water 101” campaign that built awareness around the district’s robust recycled water system.
  • Mesa Water District for its “Good Neighbor Initiative” that increased residents’ public awareness about the district and its outstanding customer service.
  • West Basin Water District for its “Summer Splash” virtual water education series that provided free interactive learning opportunities on topics such as water conservation, recycled water and more.

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